Coaching To Do Lists
1. Retain Todd Grantham as defensive coordinator. He simply does not have the calm enough demeanor of a good head football coach, yet he is perhaps the hottest D strategist in the NCAA. The Junk Yard swaggering D will have so much talent coming back in 2012. What’s missing? Only a ball control running game to hold leads and keep them off the football field for extended stretches and a solid field goal kicker to consistently convert field position into points.
2. Designate or hire a special teams coach. Notwithstanding one great individual play by Brandon Boykin and often stellar punting by Drew Butler, special teams were the glaring weaknesses of this football team, costing Georgia a bowl loss to Michigan State (33-30 in triple overtime) and causing UGA’s only home defeat, a 45-42 SEC opener against South Carolina. The SEC championship was also flitted away to a dumbfounded and shellshocked LSU team facing its first taste of domination. Way back to the Boise State game, we were missing kicks. Florida, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Vandy could have been bigger wins if we had not made huge special teams gaffes. Look at it this way: If there had been one this season, he would be getting fired. The need is there for accountability on coverage and kicking and returns and punting. No excuse for all the big returns and missed kicks and much worse: lack of adjustments. Mark Richt is responsible, and he must realize his old strategy clearly failed. New kicker, punter and primary returner in 2012 so timing is perfect.
3. Remove play calling duties from Mike Bobo. Aaron Murray has the talent to blossom but needs a full-time quarterback coach who will focus on his development and decisions, not play calling. Murray is way too turnover prone, especially in the biggest football games. Bobo is not an excellent play caller, though explosive UGA talent sometimes compensates for him. Though Richt could again call the plays, it would be much better either to hire or promote someone fresh to do it and insist it be done within the already existing offensive terminology so the young players are not in a learning start over. Handing off from the shotgun formation is a once-a-game trick, not an effective running game strategy. The new play caller better understand that, as Richt and Bobo have way over used that stupid play for years. The other option is for Richt to again coach quarterbacks and just let Mike Bobo go. He point blank should not be calling plays next year, as he is costing us defeats in very winnable games.
4. Develop a mentally tough running back core. Bowl starter Malcome is not and will never be a game breaker. Samuel IV can’t break tackles, and the other backs besides Crowell are simply way too small to be consistently effective. Only two 2012 UGA runners can really play like UGA expects, and they need to get the vast majority of carries. Immature Crowell, when feeling well, did enough to be named SEC Freshman of the Year. The top high school runner will join him. We signed back-to-back best high school running backs in America, with A+ student and speedster Keith Marshall set to enroll early. They must carry Georgia’s offense. Crowell needs a full offseason to heal and toughen up. Marshall may end up number one; both will play.
5. Will Friend has three proven linemen coming back and a bunch of young talented size. UGA better gel at line quickly, as this is where the least returning starters are set to shine in 2012. The talent is on hand and he is the right coach to get this done.
Richt could do all of the above without a huge systematic shakeup. As there are NCAA limits to the number of assistant coaches on staff, some currently on the staff may need to be assigned greater duties and some be asked to move into administration or let go. The facts are that the offensive play calling has not been up to snuff and our special teams appeared to be the worst coached in the conference. This program currently has championship talent.